Four years in the making. Yes we’re back! Drew and Skip return with episode 35 of the Gay Sci-Fi Nerds Podcast Show.
You guys will have to forgive and also bear with us as we try to get back into the swing of this.
This episode is our thoughts on the latest Superman movie from director Zack Synder, Man of Steel. Did Henry Cavill do it for us, is Amy Adams’s Lois Lane the most galactically stupid woman in the universe and is Michael Shannon’s General Zod modelled on tadpoles? And did anyone else notice the Phantom Zone pods looked like massive rocket powered dildos!?
Holy crap! There I was looking at the stats for the website when it suddenly struck me that on the sixth day of the sixth month we had six hundred and sixty six views on the website. While that’s a healthy sum for us here at Gay Sci-Fi Nerds, that’s 666! 6… 6… 6..! The number of the beast! Satan’s child on earth! The only way it could get any more sinister is if was taking place in the year 2006.
Thankfully it isn’t. So please, no religious nutters using this as further proof that homosexuality is evil and a sin. This is just a coincidence. A very spooky coincidence…
Much like the latest Star Trek movie, the Gay Sci-Fi Nerds Podcast Show gets rebooted for 2009 as we discuss two recent summer blockbusters released this year.
First Skip and Drew tackle some listener’s feedback. Drew responds to Dakota, stating why he doesn’t like Space 1999’s shape shifting alien, Maya. Skip tries to defend British sci-fi from from Erik in Dallas, Texas. Skip also owns up to why it’s taken this long to get this podcast show back up and running and we ask for gay Doctor Who fans to take part in research for a book being complied by The Science Fiction Foundation.
Skip and Drew also issue our listener’s with a challenge following the discovery of the website guyswithiphones.com, where guys with iPhones send in semi and fully nude photos of themselves taken with their iPhones. Though some do look like they’ve posed in front of a proper camera phone holding onto nothing more than their iPhone and modesty (or not as the case maybe).
This got Skip and Drew thinking, why not do the same, but called gayswithiphones!? Maybe geekswithiphones!? So if you happen to own an iPhone and fancy sending Skip and Drew photos of yourself holding onto your precious hardware, we’ll post it onto the website. You can be fully clothed, naked or somewhere in between, blur your face, however you want, just have your iPhone in the shot.
Skip discusses his thoughts on Hugh Jackman’s X-Men spin-off movie, Wolverine. Drew declined watching the very fine, and at one point nude Mr Jackman on the big screen. MMMM! Hugh Jackman’s buns on the big screen…
Tying in with Drew’s excellent interview with Star Trek original cast member George Takei, Skip and Drew both go on to talk about J.J. Abrams’ reboot of Star Trek with the latest movie. Taking it back to where it all began with a cocky young James Tiberius Kirk and Spock, J.J. Abrams has had fans all over the world gushing their juices over a brilliant and brave new direction for the much loved franchise. What do Skip and Drew think..? Well you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out!
Hi, Skip Rice here from the Gay Sci-Fi Nerds Podcast Show. In this very special edition, my co-host and partner, Drew Curry had the honour of talking and flirting with the wonderful George Takei, who was promoting the release of three Star Trek DVD & Blu-ray box sets.
George Takei indulged us with stories of his childhood, about being a gay actor, getting married to Brad Altman and Proposition 8.
George Takei also talked about his work in sci-fi including his voice part in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Hiro’s father Kaito Nakamura in Heroes and of course as the Starship Enterprise’s helmsman Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek.
Of course no interview by Drew would be complete without the odd tongue firmly in cheek probing as we find out who had better six packs and who’s waistline was as artificial as his hair!
Finally, if you haven’t done so already, check out the Gay Sci-Fi Nerds competitions page where you can win a copy of all three box sets mentioned above at gayscifinerds.co.uk/competitions/. That’s Star Trek: Alternate Realities on DVD, and on Blu-ray, Star Trek The Original Series season 1 and Star Trek The motion pictures 1-6. A complete transcript of the interview can be found on the website and for those of you who have mp3 players, it can also be found as lyrics.
We hope you enjoy this special edition of the Gay Sci-Fi Nerds Podcast Show and once again we’d like to thank George Takei and Brad Altman
George Takei: Hello, Good evening I should say!
Drew Curry: Is that George?
Takei: This is George.
Curry: Good Lord, ha ha. Hi!
Takei: We are starting on religion already?
Curry: Ha ha!
Takei: You’re working very late.
Curry: For Devon it’s very late.
Takei: I guess sci-fi nerds come into the light at night.
Curry: They do! George Takai – George, thanks. Do I call you George Takai Altman?
Takei: That’s Takei, although I don’t object to miss pronunciation because there is a word in Japanese pronounced Takai, spelt ‘T A K A I’, that translates in English as ‘Expensive’, so if you insist on calling me Takai I’ll be happy to accommodate you with a bill.
Curry: Haa Haa! Do you know what I have found out, if you type Takei in to Word, it qualifies it as a word, but if you put Shatner in it rejects it!
Takei: HAH HAH (very big laugh) – A wise computer you have.
Curry: Well listen, welcome to gayscifinerds.com
Takei: Thank you very much.
Curry: This has got to be the best coincidence ever because obviously we’re a science fiction fan site, and we’re really really gay, and you’ve portrayed some of the most iconic characters in sci-fi and you’re really really gay too!
Takei: (Laughs) Well that’s the sum of all the things we are.
Curry: Well only some of them, I am sure that you’ve got lots more facets than that.
Takei: Well yes I fancy my self as having more facets than that.
Curry: And I fancy that more people fancy you too!
Takei: (Laughs) These compliments… (garbled).
Curry: We haven’t got cheesy enough yet, just let me continue. I‘ve got a confession to make to you, you are the first TV and movie star that I have ever interviewed so…
Takei: Oh, really!
Curry: …In that respect, George, I’m a virgin.
Curry: Would you do me the honour that you’ll be gentle with me?
Takei: I’ll be very gentle with you, real gentle.
Curry: Ah, OK. We’ve been allowed to talk to you because Paramount Home Entertainment have asked you to promote a new DVD box set called Star Trek: Alternate Realities.
Takei: Yes. Well and the six Star Trek films and the first season of the original Star Trek.
Curry: I think my research falls short, but thank you for informing me of the things I should have known!
Takei: Well now you know! And the remarkable thing about the first season is that the special effects have been re-mastered and it is amazing! I guess you haven’t seen much yet?
Curry: Well actually certainly seen the Mirror Mirror episode, on the first of the Alternate Realities.
Takei: Do you the re-mastered versions?
Curry: The guys at Shine have sent us all the re-mastered stuff so that we can review them on the site.
Takei: Oh Good, You know I’m a conservationist and a trustee of a museum, so at the museum we like to have the original artefact or object as it was, we don’t like to have replicas of historic artefacts, and the wonderful thing of the first season collection is that you have both. It’s the best of two possible worlds. You have the original special effects, which today look like charmingly antique, rather quaint. You also have the re-mastered version where the Enterprise really looks like it is moving in high precision as you imagine and those planets have a lot more detail as I’m sure you’ve seen. You have both the advantages of the progress we have made in special effects technology and the originals of 40 plus years ago. So that’s a wonderful collection.
Curry: I am gonna enjoy looking at that and I am sure science fiction and Star Trek collectors who need to complete an already full set or for those people who are new to it, perhaps who are more like my self, all of this adds so much more depth.
Curry: We saw you, I looked at this just before coming on the telephone, in the episode Mirror Mirror…
Takei: Oh yes.
Curry: As like, “psycho” Sulu, with the big scar running down your face.
Takei: That was great fun. You know the wonderful thing about doing a sci-fi series is it’s like being an actor in a repertory company where you play many different characters in many different plays and because of the sci-fi nature of Star trek we get to play the negative reflection of the characters we know and love. And so you saw an evil, violent and rapacious. And you saw where he tried to rape that vicious looking Uhura and poor dumb twit, she rejected him.
Curry: You looked so much hotter than Shatner!
Takei: (Laughs) I WAS, and certainly today I’d be even more so. Bill has grown!
Curry: Even Nichelle Nicholls had better abs then than I think Shatner did, what do you think?
Takei: Well his abs were held in by a .. a, I’m trying to find a metaphor for a corset.
Curry: I’m saying the same trapeze that held his hair in!
Takei: His waistline was as artificial as his hair!
Curry: George according to Wikipedia, one of your favourite episodes was the ‘Naked Time’.
Takei: Mmm, it was.
Curry: Is that because you looked so Buff!
Takei: No because, for one thing I got unchained from that damn console. Some people thought I didn’t have legs. All I did was shoot-up from that console. And another thing here I was a grown adult and I got to re-live one of my childhood fantasies. I saw Errol Flynn in the Adventures of Robin Hood, and I was swept away by that and my mother made me a Robin Hood costume, my back yard became Sherwood Forest, all of my neighbourhood friends became my merry men and I became Robin Hood. With the Naked Time I was able to re-live that myself. Yes I happened to be buff, but being a swashbuckler was a joy re-lived.
Curry: I am so glad you had artistic reasons, but also from my point view it was wonderful to see you half naked AND waiving that big sword about!
Takei: Ahhh! You rascal you!
Curry: I know! Actually you mentioned your mother there, you recently played Kaito Nakamaura on the TV Show Heroes. How did the name Nakamura come about to be selected?
Takei: Oh, well that was already a part of the show. You know when Heroes first came on, I guess it was about 3, 4 years ago I saw the bill boards but I didn’t watch the first shows. Then I started getting emails from Star Trek fans that there’s a Japanese character on this new series called Heroes and he’s a Star Trek fan. And so I thought I better check this and I started watching and the show was intriguing and I got hooked on it. And, shortly after becoming hooked on the show my agent called to say that the people at Universal are interested in having me over and they want to talk to me about Heroes. And they said it was the role of Hero Nakamura’s father and I was you know, very excited about that because I had been watching the show. I was an avid fan of that show and I thought the actor playing Hero Nakamura was a cute charming man. It turned out, usually when I get cast they know who I am and what I can do and they just send me the script. This time they wanted to meet me, so I went there. Before that they sent me this clip they wanted me to look at and read to them which was something I hadn’t done in years. So I waited for the script and they emailed it over, and I looked at it, and it’s all written in English. I’d watched the show enough to know they talk in Japanese. So I called my agent and said, you know this is in English, don’t they want me to audition in Japanese? And he said yes, they want you to translate the script as you speak Japanese. As a child I had to go to Japanese language school complaining and fussing very Saturday. But, because of that and Summer school in Japan, I am fluent in Japanese and so I was able to translate it. When I went there they had a battery of about a dozen people in the room. So I read to them, and it turned out they had been auditioning many Japanese-American actors but they didn’t speak Japanese. So they thought I didn’t speak Japanese well and they wanted to test my Japanese so that I could speak Japanese. I passed the test with flying colours.
Curry: That’s fantastic, but what I was aiming at I understood that your mum’s.
Takei: Her maiden name was Nakamura – yes, but – no, it was not at my suggestion. The character of Nakamura already existed, Hero Nakamura. Nakamura, incidentally is a very common Japanese surname, like Smith or Jones. Takei not (common), my surname and my fathers, I thought that was a rather unusual Japanese surname. I never came across the name Takei other than my relatives. But my mother was always the one that always used to claim she has samurai blood on her side of the family. Every Japanese-American just about claims that, so I said “Yeah, Yeah I’m sure Mom”. My father was a very solid father, but went I went to Japan and visited my father’s ancestral village and talked to some of my father’s side of the family I discovered that indeed on my father’s side we do have samurai blood and not only samurai blood but a legendary samurai!
Curry: The comparisons with Heroes gets closer and closer in some respects.
Takei: Yes it does! Ha.
Curry: It must make you very proud to know that.
Takei: I was able to bring some of my… DNA the role.
Curry: Your provenance is real! You’ve been pretty open about your life, as far as I can tell from the research from very early on for instance colleagues on the set of Star Trek knew about your sexuality. What sort of effect did your openness have on your career?
Takei: Well you know I haven’t always been that (open), you can imagine that for actors starting out when you loose parts because of really fake excuses; too young, too old, too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short. You know, I didn’t want them to have another reason to eliminate me and so I was very closeted, living a double life. I dated girls as well as going to gay bars and those things that you do, so I was living a double life you might say. Once I became serious with Brad, at the end of a weeks filming we have wrap parties where we have beer, the chips, pizzas and people bring their girlfriends and their wives or the girls bring their boyfriends and so I brought Brad with me and introduced him as my friend and people didn’t really (muffled). But then I brought Brad a second time, a third time and film people are sophisticated people so they ‘got it’. They are also very cool so the word gay never came up but they all knew. I knew that Walter knew when in the morning we used to gather around the coffee urn and sip coffee and chit chat and gossip. I was standing talking there with Walter, Walter Koenig and Walter make these strange gestures for me to turn around, like jerking his head, and making those gestures.
Curry: Very subtle.
Takei: Yes! And I turned around looked …and there was this gorgeous, drop dead gorgeous young man, an extra, wearing that tight Star Trek uniform. A well buff body, my heart stopped but at the same time I knew that Walter knew! There were these unspoken ways of communicating. Eventually you start talking about who you really are and they were all very cool about it. And, as you know, last year we got married and Walter was our best man.
Curry: It’s just marvellous marvellous, you two guys, Walter and you look so youthful, Nichelle as well, just terrific looking at your web site to see how well you look. You got married before Proposition became a bloody reality.
Takei: Proposition 8.
Curry: Yeah, um sorry! Proposition 8. How will that affect your legal standing as a married couple?
Takei: Proposition 8 is not retroactive, so our marriage is valid. The other states where they have marriage equality such as Massachusetts, now Vermont, Connecticut and now Iowa in the mid west our marriages are valid there, but it’s only in those states. The Proposition 8 has now been challenged and it’s now being considered by our California Supreme Court. It is the Supreme Court that made our marriage possible. They ruled in May 2008 that there is fundamental constitutional right for marriage equality in that Supreme Court so I am optimistic and hopeful that they will rule again in the right way. However the lawyers for Proposition 8 have argued that the voters will have to be respected so it is a very complicated legal argument that the Supreme Court is weighing. I can’t imagine them amending the constitution of our state once the declare that they ruled it is a fundamental right according to our constitution that gays and lesbians have marriage equality. So we’re hopeful that the ruling should come down in a couple of months and we’re keeping our fingers crossed. We were at a rally in Sacramento, which is the capital of our state and I together with Brad, we spoke on the importance of continuing the campaign to educate in our state of California.
Curry: From our perspective here in Europe you, and Brad obviously, are cutting edge politically, your very important to the gay community and your going to hate me but you remind me of a suffragette like Sylvia Pankhurst!
Curry: But in the nicest possible sense.
Takei: Well you know, I have been active in many civil rights issues here in the United States primarily because as a child I was incarcerated with my family in American interment camps, it’s something that Europeans are not familiar with. But when Pearl Harbour was bombed this nation was swept up in war hysteria. Simply because we are Americans.
Curry: You were born in California.
Takei: Yes the capital, my mother was born in capital city of our state, Sacramento. My father was a San Franciscan and I was born here in Los Angeles so you know were a third generation Californian and third generation Americans.
Curry: And a respectable real estate business going on and everything.
Takei: That’s right and the hysteria drove this country blind. And so with no charges, no trial, no due process Japanese-Americans on the west coast of the United Sates were summarily rounded up and put in interment camps in some of the most hellish places in this country; the blistering hot desert of Arizona, the sultry suffocating swamps of Arkansas and cold windswept high planes of Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and I was four years old at the time but I still remember the day when American Soldiers with bayoneted rifles came stomping up the front door of our Los Angeles home to order us out.
Curry: It sound like something out of a Solzhenitsyn novel.
Takei: It does, doesn’t it! Or what happened in Germany. I remember the barbed wire fences, the sentry tower and machine guns pointing at us. So because of that background and you know my father used to tell us that the American democracy is a great thing but its weakness and its strength is that fact that it is true people’s democracy. It can be as great as the people can be as fallible as people are. That’s why as children, me and my brother and my sister, that we had to be actively engaged in the process holding democracy’s feet in line. So I was actively involved in the civil rights campaign for African-Americans in the 60’s and 70’s and I was involved in the movement to get a formal Presidential apology for the Japanese-American community for the incarceration and Ronald Regan did formally apologise
Takei: And pledge a 20,000 dollar token redress for the incarceration. So I’ve been active in civil rights issues so our activism in gay rights issues is a continuation of my political activism.
Curry: And in association with that you got honours from the Japanese community.
Takei: From Japan? The Emperor in Japan honoured me with Order of the Rising Sun with gold rays and rosettes at the Imperial Palace. I suppose it is something like getting a Knighthood from the Queen!
Curry: It’s extraordinary! George I am worried that my time will be up and that you will disappear in a Puff of Ether!
Takei: Well it’s the age of static on the electronic codes!
Curry: I’ve got lots of camp questions.
Curry: That you worked with Richard Burton, Cary Grant, John Wayne – just for instance. I know that your too much of a gentleman to kiss and tell but did you ever go to a Burt Lancaster party, what about Rock Hudson?
Takei: I have never been to a Rock Hudson party or a Burt Lancaster party.
Curry: Oh I knew you would say that. OK, before you were married, before you were married, who did you get to canoodle?
Takei & Curry: (Laughs)
Curry: Your not going to answer that are you!
Takei: (Laughs), Well my husband is right here in this room! I love that charming British word though, ‘canoodle’. We don’t use it over here and I know what that means I’m one of the Anglophile Americans and I find that word charming!
Curry: Your first name is from your dad who was apparently and Anglophile as well?
Takei: Yes. Yes. You have done your homework haven’t you!
Takei: I am named after George the 6th.
Curry: Our podcast is gayscifinerds.com and unfortunately we’re the geeky end of the thing! So Yeah! You’ve had a voice role as Lok Durd in Star Wars: the Clone Wars.
Takei: I did, yes.
Curry: Is it true that that this makes you the only Star Trek character or actor who’s been in both franchises?
Takei: I wasn’t aware of that, but that’s how they’re promoting it and I’m sure they did their research so I suppose I am.
Curry: The question – if you weren’t aware of it – ‘Did you have any concerns about transitioning to the Dark Side’ – well obviously you didn’t.
Takei: No! Because as you know in Mirror Mirror we went to the Dark side didn’t we?
Curry: Yeah, absolutely! In fact, I was fantasising about asking you questions about ‘do you think Sulu – not you – would ever get round to doing Captain Kirk?’
Takei: (Long pause)
Curry: Big Silence.
Takei: Good question, I never thought of it, you know when I personalised Sulu I did personalise him as having enormous admiration for Captain Kirk and he was his role model.
Curry: If that was his antithesis, he would end up hating him.
Takei: Well also Sulu is straight, George Takei is NOT!
Curry: And we’re so glad!
Takei: I am too, I am happy being me. Believe me I appreciate the support I have been getting from the GLBT community, because for an actor we are so vulnerable in the public eye, it’s good to know we have the support and backing and the strength that you give us. It’s much appreciated.
Curry: You know, the bizarre things like ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ ..
Curry: You seem, I don’t know if its about strong lead women. Did Martina Navratilova have better muscles than Will Shatner or what!
Takei: Oh My Lord Yes! Oh She’s an Amazon, Oh she’s fantastic and she’s a much nicer person!
Curry: I’ve run out of script! I’m off piste, I don’t know where I’m going with this any more! I want to say thank you so very much!
Curry: For being on the phone and talking to gayscifinerds.com.
Takei: Oh, it’s my pleasure and I will look you up on your site and see what goes on gayscifinerds.co.uk.
Curry: We have 100s of thousands of downloads to the pod cast, and 52% of those are in California.
Takei: Oh, really?
Curry: We only get about 11 downloads in Texas.
Takei: How Interesting.
Takei & Curry: (Laughs)
Curry: Bizarre isn’t it!
Takei: Well there are a lot of gay Texans too, and alas because of the climate there they have to be very surreptitious about their lives.
Curry: Well my partner is called Skip Rice so together we’re called Curry and Rice the gay sci-fi nerds.
Takei: That’s a delicious combination, I love that.
Curry: Well George & Brad I’m very grateful. Extremely grateful for the time you’ve spent.
Takei: Well it’s a pleasure talking with you and I will look you up and see what you’re all up too if that’s fine.
Curry: Yeah, check out the special we make from this and if you wish to e-mail us or something, we’d be so very pleased to put it on the site. Thank you.
Takei: I’ll look forward to it. I enjoyed chatting with you.
IT’S CHRISTMAS – again!!!! The first version of this podcast was a little rushed, hopefully this will sound better.
Seeing how life this time of year is dedicated to that special time, Drew and Skip are celebrating that religion known as the Christmas TV schedule.
We’re talking TV series in this show, namely Sanctuary, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Fringe. Skip reveals why he’s a fan of Amanda Tapping’s Sanctuary and also the abnormal werewolf geek, Henry Foss as played by Ryan Robbins – pierced belly button, nipples and all. Drew get’s bugged out by ginger Scottish Terminator actress Shirley Manson’s bug eyes, while he and Skip agree that the series is getting better ow that John Connor is rid of his hair straightners. Fringe is also becoming a favourite as Walter Bishop’s endearing character says more and more bizarre things and offer up a couple of classic quotes.
We have a special Christmas GayMerica as Justin gives advice on what to get a Gay Sci-Fi Nerd for Christmas (or for any special occasion) with a shameless plug for a certain website…
GSFNews includes the death of the First Lady of Star Trek, Doctor Who and his back injury, record sales for the latest Harry Potter book and Robert Carlyle joins the Stargate Universe. A new musical journey for Star Wars and Skip finds the perfect gift for the sci-fi, cheeseburger munching nerd.
And finally we’d like to take this opportunity to wish all our listeners happy holidays and a fabulous New Year.
Skip and Drew kick start the show congratulating our competition winners Jayna and Marc who were both very happy to have received their package from the DHL delivery man.
First GSFNews starts with the announcement of a departure from the Twilight franchise. Batman news includes the money making, Oscar awards push of the re-release of The Dark Knight. Are we being cynical in thinking any excuse to award Heath Ledger an award? Speaking of which, Heath Ledger receives a post-houmous (mmmm! caramelised onion houmous) award from the Australian Film Institute for playing The Joker. And in more Batman related death news, Bruce Wayne/Batman is killed off in the latest issue of the comic series.
Not one, but two of Europe’s first digital IMAX cinemas have open in London, one in Wimbledon and the other in Greenwich. There’s a planned remake of the BBC series The Day of the Triffids. Set in London, the titular plants escape captivity and begin to rapidly breed and attack a blinded population having lost their sight after a meteor shower.
Drew and Skip review Max Payne and Quarantine and have a disagreement over which one is the better film. Drew favours Max Payne’s valiant attempt to bring the limited storyline from the game onto the big screen, with dazzling visuals and effects. Skip prefers the claustrophobic Quarantine, set inside a single location where a journalist and her camera man record a set of terrifying circumstances as they’re locked in a building with a viral outbreak.
The question dear listener is, who do you agree with? Leave your comments on the site.
In our most musically themed show yet, Drew kicks starts the podcast with a big opening theme tune in which, like Dennis Waterman, he wrote the feem toon and sang the feem toon. Skip talks about yet another all-night horror movie film fest in London, this time spending eleven hours watching all five films from the Saw franchise at the BFI IMAX. Did Drew go, not a chance in hell, stating he’d rather chop his own foot off then subject himself to that shite. Drew and Skip also take the opportunity to talk about a couple of dishes from their favourite Chinese restaurant in China Town, Won Kei, and namely which dishes to avoid.
Drew and Skip go on to talk about their latest trip to London to attend a charity concert by the Philharmonia Orchestra, in aid of poor and desperate actors, performing the works of Barry Gray. Best know for his collaborations with Gerry Anderson and celebrating the Centenary of Barry Gray’s birth, he’s best know for composing the music for Thunderbirds, Stingray, Joe 90 and Space 1999.
Included are live recordings taken on the evening of the concert as your hosts head to the South Bank and Festival Hall. Skip get unnerved at pulling out his equipment in a bad part of town and Drew interviews a couple of people attending the concert, including a band know as The Adventures of Parsley.
Quantum of Solace gets a review as Drew and Skip compare and contrast their thoughts on the latest Daniel Craig Bond movie and a finally, Skip and Drew save the last until the end as they announce the winners of the Gay Sci-Fi Nerds Podcast Show Competition. To find out if you’re one of our two winners, check out the podcast or the video (appearing soon)…